SideNote: “The Imitation Game” vs. “Boyhood”

Last year it was “12 Years a Slave.” If not “12 Years a Slave,” it was “Gravity.” Both films had excellent responses from their respective festival showings which lead them to the top of everyone’s radar.

The things is, we knew and we knew this time in 2012 that “The Artist” was clear to take it. However it took the assistance of various guilds to give both 2013 winner “Argo” and 2011 winner “The King’s Speech” the edge over “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Social Network.”

Looking at the list of contenders, both of these films can fit the bill.

tv-spot-for-richard-linklaters-boyhoodUnseen Films

“Interstellar” – Likely going to be excellent. May fall into the “Not an Oscar movie though..” category.

“Unbroken” – If good, this film could rise to the occasion. Roger Deakins will no doubt compete with Lubezki in cinematography.

“Selma” – Who knows at this point. It doesn’t need a festival appearance to make itself noticed if it’s good. It is a Martin Luther King biopic with tremendous talent both in front of and behind the camera. But no trailer yet? It’s already October.

“American Sniper” – Great teaser trailer. Eastwood films can usually go either way though. “Million Dollar Baby” dove into the Oscar race late and grabbed top prize. But many think this good compete the way “Lone Survivor” did last year, only picking up a Sound Editing Oscar nomination.

There are other unseen movies, but these four are the only one’s that could fit the bill as “Best Picture.”

Great, but not an Oscar movie

“Birdman” – This is a film that could compete valiantly. The majority of reviews are glowing. But it may prove too unconventional for Oscar voters.

“Gone Girl” – Even if this was an “Oscar movie” it still probably wouldn’t compete for the top prize. The reviews are good, but not good enough to take on the likes of “Boyhood.”

“Foxcatcher” – Everything about this movie screams “divisive.” From the occasional negative reviews to the comments about how dark it’s subject matter is.

“The Theory of Everything” – Could feel “safe” enough to compete. But again, may not be good enough.


Everything about “Boyhood” feels safe at this point. The positive reviews are unanimous. Where everyone can at least agree that the film is good, the same can’t be said about the likes of the four films listed above. Watch out for “Boyhood” when the critic’s start picking their awards.

“The Imitation Game” feels safe as well. Though, it’s reviews aren’t as positive as “Boyhood,” it is a Weinstein contender. Therefore, it shouldn’t be counted out.